Let’s say you have an idea that you’re passionate about and you know it would prove beneficial not just to you but everyone else around you. You know deep down in your heart that it is the best way to go. You know with complete conviction that it is the most logical choice there is to make.
But no matter how valuable or helpful your proposition is, it will never happen unless you can persuade other people to support it and implement it. You’ll never make progress in life if you can’t gain the cooperation of other people. With so many distractions all around us, your ability to sway people to your ideas is equally as important as the quality of the ideas themselves. In many cases, the power to persuade is clearly the top determinant of success.
That is why I compiled a list of 9 persuasion techniques that, if used, will make a huge difference in your life and the life of others:
- Focus on what’s in it for them — In 99% of all situations, people will care more about what they have to gain then what you have to gain. So direct most of your communication efforts on them and their needs.
- Only give them two choices: your proposition or something less desirable — Though this is a well-known persuasion technique, it is frequently ignored by many of us. Instead of letting the person’s mind wander off and think about a million alternatives to what you are offering, give them two choices: your proposition or something less desirable. This tactic may seem blatant and obvious but it will work as long as you don’t overdo it and you are offering something valuable and unique.
- Give an example of how your idea worked for someone else who’s just like them — People are more likely to be persuaded by your offer if they know it was beneficial to someone else who shares their characteristics. Once they know it’s helpful to others who are just like them, they will have adequate “social proof” to assume that it must be beneficial to them.
- Emphasize things that you know they will agree with and then move on to your proposition — When you persuade someone to agree to enough small and safe ideas, they will gain trust in your bigger and more ambitious ideas. Once you introduce the proposition that you really want to talk about, they’ll be more likely to agree with it because they’ll already be in an agreeable state of mind.
- Elaborate on its scarcity to inflate its perceived value — Elaborate on how easy it would be to find someone else who would take up on your offer. If their perceived value of your proposition is high enough that the pros outweigh the cons, they’ll have a greater sense of urgency in agreeing to your idea.
- Focus on their needs and the void that only you can fill — In the most respectful and congenial manner possible, talk about what is missing from their life which they undoubtedly desire and then talk about the qualities that you possess that will fill that void. Though this is one of the most effective strategies you can use, make sure not to focus on their problems too much because you might hurt their feelings. Touch on their need lightly and then talk about why you’re the best person to resolve it.
- First talk about what interests them — One of the best ways to persuade people is to first talk about what pumps them up. Ask intelligent questions about their interests, talk about why those interests interest you, and that person’s mind will be more receptive to what you want to express to them.
- Use indirect communication — If the person you are trying to persuade is resistant or the proposition you are trying to propose is highly ambitious, being too direct with them may not be the best idea. Perhaps, it will be far more effective to give them several oblique innuendos that will gently guide their thoughts to the direction you want them to go. That way they will believe that they came up with the very ideas that you’ve been slowly feeding them over time.
- Talk about the benefits and the advantages before you talk about the proposition — If you go straight to the proposition, people will naturally build resistance to what you’re saying because you’re expressing something that they haven’t gotten use to. Instead, talk about the benefits and the advantages first to build their curiosity and anticipation.
These techniques have been used for thousands of years (to great affect) and they’re all still in wide use today. Some of them are probably being used on you right now with you even knowing it.
But the most important thing to remember is to be honest and sincere with people when you use these techniques. Choose the tactics that would be most effective for the situations that most call for them. Combine them, use them in succession and the chances of people agreeing with your ideas will increase exponentially.